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Academic Resource Center: How to Paraphrase

What is a Paraphrase

paraphrase translates the source’s words into your own voice and your own words. If you copy three or more words in a row, you must put those words in quotation marks and name the source. Just like a quotation, a paraphrase is always cited in your paper and on a separate page at the end.

5 Steps to Effective Paraphrasing

  1. Read your passage until you comprehend its full meaning. As you read, jot down bullet points on the facts or opinions presented, but do not copy "word for word" without using quotation marks. 
  2. Put your passage aside, and write out your paraphrase in full sentences. Try using the notecard feature in NoodleTools and view your notes in 'detail view'.
  3. Check your version with the original to ensure accuracy. Make any corrections about facts or details. 
  4. Use quotation marks to identify any unique phrases that you may have used directly from the source. The 'detail view' in NoodleTools lets you look at the original passage with your paraphrase below it to easily compare.  
  5. Record the source and page number so that you can refer back to it later when creating your citations.

Adapted from the Purdue Online Writing Lab's Guide to Paraphrasing.

Adapted from...

* Special thanks to Lora Cowell and Nancy Florio for permission to use this information.

How to Paraphrase Video

Use Paraphrase Indicators to...

When an author has conducted valid research via scientific methods and data collection, their findings may be presented as evidence of fact. Evaluate the credibility of your source (author's credentials + research methodology), then introduce your paraphrase using assertive language such as:

According to Cowell....

Brovick shows …

Gard finds/found that…

Hatton has determined...

Scholars use evidence gathered through research to develop theories. This interpretation of findings is not always black and white. If an author's interpretation is debatable, present their ideas as "analysis or opinion." You can begin the paraphrase of such ideas with phrases such as:

Moberg hypothesizes

Scott maintains that…

Van Berkum predicts

Butterfield suggests

Use multiple credible authors to support and strengthen your arguments. Be sure that the authors are agreeing with the idea based on their own analysis and expertise. Start by paraphrasing the original idea (with citation), following with a paraphrase of agreement, such as:  

Miller acknowledges

Parker confirms...

Andrews verifies...

Fritz substantiates...

Controversial topics generate multiple viewpoints. Acknowledge viewpoints that oppose your main thesis and then COUNTER with evidence or interpretations to support the opposing view. Introduce the opposing viewpoint with a phrase such as:   

Anderson argues

Parker contends...

Speigle disagrees...

Jenkins responds